A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 34: Experiencing God as Light, A Christmas Lesson

Download the PDF of A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson #34 – “Experiencing God as Light” right into your digital device. God can be experienced as light, visible to the physical eyes and as a universal inner reality.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 35: Experiencing God as Joy, A Christmas Lesson

We know true joy when we experience the reality of God’s presence within. The word joy is used at Christmastime so often that it is almost synonymous with the season. When we have an inner awareness of the presence of God, we experience joy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we celebrate that living presence born on earth. Joyful day! God’s presence can be experienced in every moment of our lives when we become aware that the reality of God never changes; it is not dependent on circumstance or season.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 36: Experiencing God as Love

Jesus taught that we should love everyone, even our enemies. In this age of multi-media information, we are made aware of all the reasons people can be difficult to love; loving everyone appears even more daunting than it must have two thousand years ago. However, if we remember that universal divine love exists within and flows throughout all creation, it becomes clear that our part is not to make ourselves love, but to allow love to flow through us at every opportunity. Every moment is an opportunity.
Jesus was a pure channel for universal love; love flowed through him without interruption or corruption. The power of that pure love could be felt by all who opened their heart to the experience, and we can experience it as well if we open our hearts to the possibility.

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The Wise Man’s Confession

What wisdom I have
Awakens me to my blindness.
I cannot see light itself:
What I know of light
Is only an alluring shadow
Of what it is and does.

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Unto Us a Child Is Born

The Brief Observance of a Holy Nativity

Even non-theists and progressive Christian types love to sing Christmas carols. And, as the British atheist, Alain de Botton, once said, “Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone.” The annual observance of one holy nativity is the perennial reminder to respect and beatify the dignity and sacredness of every birth, everywhere.

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Way Back When: Christmas Oranges – Christmas Eve Sermon

While we’re busy explaining that the birth stories about Jesus of Nazareth are really parables and not history, and others are trying to prove or disprove the details of the nativity myths, the Christ in our Mass is all but forgotten. While so people continue to bandy the word Christ around as if it were Jesus’ last name, far too many of us have forgotten what the church has been teaching for centuries.

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Remember our homeless LGBTQ youth this holiday season

Although Christmas is mostly thought of in terms of feasting and celebrating, Jesus’s, birth — like his death — was born of struggle, and that struggle was to be fully accepted. Similarly, when I think of the birth of Jesus, one of the themes that looms large for me is LGBTQ youth and young adult homelessness.

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The Child Who Calls Us to Evolve

Why do we care so deeply for the child born to Mary and Joseph in a Bethlehem cave and not the millions of other children born into a poverty of one kind or another? Is it because of who he became, or simply because we can only care for one person at a time?

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Time for a “Christmas Truce”

I want to declare a “Christmas truce” in the growing chorus of worry about churches, complaining about churches, wishing that churches could get with modernity, and all the lamenting and fussing and blaming and bickering.

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Toward a more than literal and more than rational and more than capitalist Christmas!

The stories of the Nativity need not be factual but mythically they are immensely powerful. The artists who composed them knew what they were doing—they catch the deep imagination and yearnings of the human heart for justice for the poor and in doing so offer what is in many ways the essence of the Christ path—that Good News will come to the poorest (the shepherds) and the four-legged ones (ox and sheep) will be in a privileged place and that Divinity is young—a child—not just an old, bearded fellow.

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Little Bear – Winter Solstice – Snowbound (Video)

This lovely video would be wonderful to share with the little ones during Winter time. Little Bear is an educational Canadian children’s animated series based on the Little Bear series of books written by Else Holmelund Minarik, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

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Searching for the Christmas Spirit

Searching for the Christmas spirit –
Is it heard when angels sing?
Is it found in deeds of merit?
Is it heard when church bells ring?
Come and treasure Jesus’ memory;
All the beauty it can bring.

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Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

Spiritually literate gifts have meanings attached to them. They might be symbolic of God’s presence in daily life; they might reflect how we are connected through time and across the miles with others; or they might encourage us in a spiritual practice such as play, wonder, and hope. Here are some examples of spiritually literate gifts to give this holiday season, based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

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Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

With Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and Christmas all celebrated this time of year, one would think that we would embrace an all-inclusive seasonal greeting emblematic of our nation’s religious landscape with two simple words—Happy Holidays!

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Wellness Gift Giving Guide – Natural + Organic Gifts

By Katie at Wellness Mama

What is on your Christmas list this year? What are you getting for friends and family? Check out this great resource compiled by Katie at Wellness Mama of natural and organic gifts!

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St. Nicholas Is Too Old and Too Tired to Defeat the Selling Power of Santa Claus!

This Sunday, the Feast of St. Nicholas, the ancient precursor to the modern Santa Claus, will pass without much ado. Some will try to encourage us to resurrect St. Nicholas to save us all from Santa’s powers for we have gone astray. To those well meaning souls who would rid Christmas of its flagrant consumerism, I can only offer up a feeble, “Baa Humbug!”

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Miracles of Human Birthing

Miracles of human birthing –
We but stand in silent awe.
God in each and every earthling
Gives to life its sacred core.
Come and ponder all the mystery of new life that we adore

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All I Want for Christmas Is an AK-47

When the Reason for the Season Goes Missing

This is the season Christian faith communities of every sort prepare in one way or another to observe the nativity of something deemed to be holy and salvific. We recall ancient prophecies that foretell a “prince of peace, and wonderful counselor” comes around each year with a message to save us from ourselves. (Isaiah 9:6)
Once born into a world of violence and terror not unlike our own, the message remains unchanged. Regrettably, so too has been the obstinate ways in which we have collectively refused to live with one another in response to that message.

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